Torrington’s home semifinal game against Jackson came down to the final seconds Friday at Wiseman Field.
The visiting Broncs led 21-14 after Jeydon Cox’s 55-yard touchdown run with 1 minute, 10 seconds to play with a trip to Laramie for this weekend’s Wyoming State High School Class 3A Football Championship on the line.
The homestanding Trailblazers then proceeded to put together a 16-play, 67-yard drive capped by Bryan Lemmon’s 2-yard touchdown run with no time remaining. Lemmon added the two-point conversion to send Torrington back to the state championship game and a disheartened Broncs team back to Jackson.
Not long after the game ended, Jackson fans began stating their disappointment regarding the game’s clock management, specifically the final seconds.
Looking at the game’s telecast on the NFHS Network, which was accompanied by Torrington’s KGOS/KERM radio broadcast, the final six plays, which began with Torrington facing first-and-2 at the Jackson 8, began with 8.8 seconds remaining.
With no timeouts remaining, the ‘Blazers ran five plays — two incomplete passes, a 2-yard reception, a 4-yard run for a first down and a spike to kill the clock — before Lemmon’s touchdown.
That caused some Jackson fans to reach out to various media outlets as well as Wyoming High School Activities Association Commissioner Ron Laird. Monday, Laird issued a blanket response.
“First, I do want to acknowledge what a tremendous, hard fought high school football game was played last Friday night in Torrington. Both teams should be proud of their efforts and the way they conducted themselves throughout the game.
“The WHSAA never wants to see a game end where officials, or any game personnel, are called into question concerning the outcome of a game. I have been in contact with both schools administrations several times, as well as the game officials, in assessing the situation.”
Later in the email, Laird cited a specific NFHS rule.
“The use of any replay or television monitoring equipment by the game officials in making any decision relating to the game is prohibited.”
In closing, Laird wrote:
“Please know that I do understand the emotion in these types of situations & appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns. I would hope that you continue to keep your focus on the outstanding season your team accomplished and continue to be proud of their efforts.”